The NKR NA President Ashot Ghoulyan’s Interview to the Magazine “International Relations: Armenian World”
01 September 2016


  1. Mr. Ghoulyan, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Artsakh. We would like to hear your words of congratulation on this occasion.

This year all-Armenians celebrate the 25th anniversary of proclamation of both the Republic of Armenia and the second Armenian Republic, Artsakh. September 2, 1991 had without exaggeration a decisive importance for the Armenians of Artsakh. Restoring historical justice it has not only corrected the disgraceful political deal of the previous century, but also guaranteed preservation of the identity and freedom of the people of Artsakh.

Like other post-Soviet countries, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic also went through a difficult process of the state system transformation which in our case was accompanied by imposed realities of war and blockade. However, even in such difficult conditions, we managed to build a sustainable state based on modern democratic values which is able to ensure the security of its people.

This segment of history can be summarized as follows: the goal of achieving independence changed into fighting for freedom for us. On the way of the war for freedom we have suffered irretrievable losses. Thousands of patriots sacrificed their lives for the sake of dignified life for the coming generations, the construction of which must be the goal for all Armenians.

Congratulating everybody with the holiday, I would like to express gratitude to those of our compatriots who have suffered deprivations and difficulties in the name of free life of our dream. Let us remember and honor this sacrifice.

2. What is the level of cooperation between the parliaments of Armenia and NKR?

Cooperation with the RA National Assembly has a special place in Artsakh’s inter parliamentary relations; it is the best parliamentary platform that operates on a high institutional level. Through the activities of the Committee on Interparliamentary Cooperation between the National Assembly of NKR and RA National Assembly, our relations have a long practical nature.

I find the format of discussions between the standing committees of the parliaments of the two countries, joint sessions and working meetings at various levels, including specific programs on current topics extremely useful.

Although the last few years our relations have expanded through new parliamentary friendship groups and circles, but our cooperation with the Parliament of Armenia stands out in terms of volume and quality. For us it is also a window for contacts with the outside world and international parliamentary organizations.

3. Please submit the efforts of your head institution, aimed at international recognition of Artsakh or fair understanding of the issue by the international community.

Recognition of the Republic of Artsakh is the main goal of our political agenda and priority in the foreign policy. In our case it is double - difficult to break through the barrier, formed in the world, relating to the aspiration of the new generations to independence. In such situations, parliamentary diplomacy is one of the few tools that help to overcome isolation and break the stereotypes existing in international relations.

For this purpose, relevant measures are taken to strengthen the existing ties with other countries and establish new contacts.

In the National Assembly of the 6th convocation there are also such institutional structures as "Karabakh-France" friendship circle (since 2013), "Artsakh-Lithuania” friendship Group (since 2013),"Artsakh-European Parliament” friendship Group (since 2014). Since 2006, in the US Congress we have been holding annual events dedicated to the independence of NKR. Since late 1990s, close relationships have also been established in the parliaments of other post-Soviet unrecognized states: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic.

I believe this list is enough to understand the basic objectives of the work done to promote the main problem.

4. What is being done in PACE and other international parliamentary structures with respect to falsification and lies of the Azerbaijani propaganda, with the aim of identifying and neutralizing them?

In this respect joint efforts of the parliaments of Armenia and Artsakh are mostly in demanded. We are dealing with an enemy that does not blink an eye, committing fraud, false and provocative actions to discredit Artsakh internationally. That is the same behavior, which we see on the front line. Of course, the National Assembly follows the reports and resolutions related to Artsakh on the international platforms and takes relevant steps depending on the situation. We work with PACE and other international organizations, through official, diplomatic and parliamentary channels. Much work is also carried out by our fellow parliamentarians representing the parliaments of different European countries.

But, according to the developments in the past year, our steps are in need of coordination. I hope that we have learned the lessons of previous situations and I am sure we have made the right conclusions to respond adequately to the upcoming events.